Hit the deck with these handy how-to building guides. Packed with photos, drawings, and construction plans, they'll help you design an outdoor deck that extends your living space into your garden and also harmonizes with the architecture of your home.
Photo of book Building a Deck by Scott Schuttner courtesy PriceGrabber.com
Author: Scott Schuttner
Published: 2002, Taunton Press
Without a doubt, this is the top deck-building book that seems to be always first on the DIYer's list. Part of the Taunton Press series "Build Like a Pro," this book does what its cover says: Expert Advice from Start to Finish. Look for a newer version to come out, however, as this 2002 edition is a bit dated. For a how-to construction book, it's still the best.
Photo of Deck Ideas that Work by Peter Jeswald courtesy PriceGrabber.com
Author: Peter Jeswald
Published: 2012, Taunton Press
Another book by Taunton, author Peter Jeswald is focussed on design. It's filled with the pictures and considerations to get you going as you plan your deck. If the Schuttner book (above) is about construction, Jeswald's book is about architecture and design.
Deck Designs: Great Design Ideas from Top Deck Designers by Steve Cory from PriceGrabber.com
Author: Steve Cory
Published: 2009, Creative Homeowner
"Start by doing what all the best architects do," says author Steve Cory: "steal ideas." This is a book of design ideas to help you decide what kind of deck you want and need.
Sunset's Ideas for Great Patios & Decks courtesy PriceGrabber.com
Author: Scott Atkinson and the Editors of Sunset Books
Published: 2006, Oxmoor House
Sunset books have been around since 1946, accommodating the dreamers of the post-WWII building boom. This may not be the best book on this list, but any Baby Boomer will remember the funky Western Sunset typography and sigh at remembering a book just like this one being read by your parents in the den as they dreamed about their 1950s deck addition.
Photo of The Deck Book: Inspirational Design Ideas by Melissa Cardona courtesy PriceGrabber.com
Author: Melissa Cardona
Published: 2007, Schiffer Publishing
Need more inspiration? Here's another idea book with beautiful photos. If you're still undecided about your new or remodeled deck after browsing these pictures, maybe you're looking for a different type of outdoor design, like a brick patio, a gazebo, or a pergola.
For a really gorgeous deck, be sure to choose an attractive, durable wood. Here are our top picks: Best Wood for Decks